The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stein, District Judge.
Charlynn Maniatis alleges in this action against Cornell
University Medical College ("Cornell") that Cornell improperly
terminated her employment due to her age.*fn1 Her complaint
alleges that Cornell's decision not to renew her employment
violated various federal, state, and local laws, including: (i)
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended,
42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq.; (ii) the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq.; (iii) the New York State
Human Rights Law ("NYSHRL"), as amended, New York Executive Law §
296 et seq.; and (v) the Administrative Code of the City of New
York, § 8-107 et seq. Cornell now moves for summary judgment
dismissing the complaint. Because
she has not introduced any evidence that raises a triable issue
of fact, defendant's motion is granted.
Dr. Charlynn Maniatis is a physician with a specialty in
radiology. After receiving a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School
in 1972, she received degrees in medicine and public health from
The Johns Hopkins University in 1979. (Ex. A to Plaintiff's
Affidavit). From 1980 to 1983, she received further training in
diagnostic radiology at the Memorial Sloan-Ketterling Cancer
Center and the New York Hospital. Id. In July 1983, she began
to work part-time for defendant Cornell Medical College as a
radiologist. Id. Cornell Medical College, now known as Weil
Medical College, is the medical school of Cornell University,
whose main campus is in Ithaca, NY. (Defendant's Statement of
Facts, ¶ 1). The New York Hospital, now known as New York
Presbyterian Hospital, is the primary teaching hospital
affiliated with Cornell. (Defendant's Statement of Facts, ¶ 2).
During the 1980's, Maniatis gradually increased the amount of
time she worked for Cornell, first changing from one day to two
days per week during the mid 1980's, and then adding additional
early-morning hours during the late 1980's or early 1990's.
(Plaintiff's Affidavit at ¶¶ 13, 16). During this time, she also
worked part-time at other hospitals. (Plaintiff's Affidavit at ¶
14). By 1985, she was appointed to work 60% of full-time, which
is denominated by defendant as .6 FTE. (Sostman Affidavit ¶ 18).
In 1987, she started her own private radiology practice, and
continued to work part-time at Cornell. (Exhibit A to Plaintiff's
Affidavit). During all relevant times after 1987, she maintained
this private practice. Id.
Plaintiff continued working these hours at Cornell until 1995,
when Cornell hired Dr. Dirk Sostman to become the new chair of
the Department of Radiology. (Sostman Affidavit ¶ 6). In July of
1995, plaintiff was reassigned from inpatient to outpatient
radiology. (Ex. D to Plaintiff's Affidavit). In late 1995,
Sostman became aware that plaintiff was working approximately 13
hours per week, fewer hours than her .6 FTE appointment called
for, and notified her of his concerns in a letter dated December
16, 1995. (Exhibit I to Affidavit of James Kahn). In this letter,
Sostman requested that plaintiff either work more hours or reduce
her appointment level to 40%, or .4 FTE. Id. Sostman and
plaintiff discussed her workload, and, in a letter dated January
4, 1996, plaintiff made several suggestions about increasing the
amount of work available to her in the early morning hours. (Ex.
K to Kahn Affidavit). Around this time, Dr. Sostman reorganized
the department, shifting from a "modality based" system in which
physicians were grouped according to the technology they used, to
an "organ-based" system, in which physicians were grouped by
bodily region (abdomen, limbs, etc.). (Sostman Affidavit 14). As
a result of this reorganization, the general radiology group to
which Dr. Maniatis belonged was dissolved and its
responsibilities were divided up among the new groups. Id.
In a letter dated June 20, 1996, plaintiff was informed that
her appointment would not be renewed after the end of 1996. (Ex.
M to Kahn Affidavit). Plaintiff was 46 at the time of her
termination. She filed an administrative claim with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), which dismissed her
claim, but issued a "right to sue" letter on June 6, 1997. (Ex. C
to Kahn Affidavit). This action followed.
A motion for summary judgment is granted only where there are
no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is
entitled, based on uncontested facts, to judgment as a matter of
law. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Grady v. Affiliated Cent.,
Inc., 130 F.3d 553, 558 (2nd Cir. 1997). In examining the
record, all ambiguities and permissible factual inferences will
be resolved in favor of the non-moving party. See Grady, 130
F.3d at 558. The standards for summary judgment are no different
in employment discrimination cases than in any other type of
litigation. Fisher v. Vassar College, 114 F.3d 1332, 1334 (2nd
Cir. 1997) (en banc.), cert. denied, 522 U.S. 1075, 118 S.Ct.
851, 139 L.Ed.2d 752 (1998).
B. Disparate Treatment Claim
Plaintiff's original complaint, both before the EEOC and in her
pleadings in this action, claimed that defendants had
intentionally discriminated against her by treating her
disparately. A disparate treatment claim alleges that the
plaintiff was intentionally discriminated against because of
membership in a protected class, in this case, the class is all
those 40 years of age and older. Such a claim under the ADEA is
governed by the three-step procedure established for racial
discrimination actions brought pursuant to the Civil Rights Act
of 1964 in McDonnell Douglas v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 93 S.Ct.
1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973) and Texas Dep't of Community Affairs
v. Burdine 450 U.S. 248, 101 S.Ct. 1089, 67 L.Ed.2d 207 (1981).
See also, Fisher 114 F.3d at 1335; Woroski v. Nashua Corp.,
31 F.3d 105, 108 (2nd Cir. 1994).
First, the plaintiff must establish a prima facie case by
showing four elements: 1) that she belongs to a protected class;
2) that she was qualified for the job in dispute; 3) that she was
subject to an adverse employment decision; and 4) that the
adverse employment decision occurred under circumstances that
give rise to an inference of discrimination. See Cronin v. Aetna
Life Ins. Co., 46 F.3d 196, 204 (2nd Cir. 1995); Woroski, 31
F.3d at 108; Spence v. Maryland Casualty Co., 995 F.2d 1147,
1155 (2nd Cir. 1993). See also, McDonnell Douglas, 411 U.S. at
802, 93 S.Ct. 1817. If a plaintiff meets this initial burden and
establishes a prima facie case, a rebuttable presumption of
discrimination is created. Id. The burden of production then
shifts to the defendant, who must articulate one or more
legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for the termination.
McDonnell Douglas 411 U.S. at 803, 804, 93 S.Ct. 1817. Once
this burden has been met, the burden of persuasion falls upon the
plaintiff to demonstrate that the employer's proffered reasons
are merely a "pretext for discrimination." McDonnell Douglas
411 U.S. at 804, 93 S.Ct. 1817. See also, St. Mary's Honor
Center v. Hicks, 509 U.S. 502, 515, 113 S.Ct. 2742, 2752, 125
L.Ed.2d 407 (1993).
This procedure is the same for the state and local claims under
New York State law and New York City ordinance. "Age
discrimination suits under the NYSHRL get the same analysis as
claims under Title VII or the ADEA." Lightfoot v. Union Carbide
Corp. 110 F.3d 898, 913 (2nd Cir. 1997). See Raskin v. Wyatt
Co., 125 F.3d 55 (2nd Cir. 1997); Reed v. A.W. Lawrence & Co.,
Inc., 95 F.3d 1170, 1177 (2nd Cir. 1996); Tyler v. Bethlehem
Steel Corp., 958 F.2d 1176, 1180 (2nd Cir. 1992), cert.
denied, 506 U.S. 826, 113 S.Ct. 82, ...